Tuesday, January 05, 2010
From The New York Daily News…
Staten Island brothers Dee, Ricky Jackson make Lego jewelry that’s been worn by Kanye West, Rihanna
By Simone Weichselbaum
Daily News Staff Writer
Two stylin’ Staten Island brothers are trying to build a fashion empire — brick by Lego brick.
Demetris (Dee) and Ricardo (Ricky) Jackson, both 23, sell bow ties, brooches and belt buckles made of the colorful kiddie blocks.
But these accessories are hardly child’s play — megacelebrities like Kanye West and Rihanna have been sporting the plastic fashion statements.
West is a fan of the $50 red heart brooch, made of 16 Lego bricks and connectors. And the bright yellow $75 belt buckles were a hit during Marc Jacobs’ runway show in spring 2008.
“I feel overwhelmed,” said Ricky Jackson, who looks just like his brother - and their sister, Laura.
The three Jacksons are triplets who were raised — and still live — in the Arlington Terrace Apartments, one of the roughest housing projects in the borough.
“I get inspiration from living here. Hopping on a bus to the ferry, I get to see what is going on,” said Dee Jackson.
The brothers sell their goods on their site, deeandricky.com, and some shops, including Kidrobot, have picked up their line.
Their life wasn’t always so much fun.
Their mom raised the triplets, plus three other siblings, while addicted to crack, relatives said. The chaos led the Jackson brothers to skip class and eventually drop out of Port Richmond High School in the 11th grade.
“I would have liked for them to stay in high school,” said their grandmother, Laura Thomas, 77, who lives with them.
“It is never too late to go back.”
The Jackson brothers have been too busy for class ever since a pal of Marc Jacobs spotted the duo at a 2007 Hamptons party and asked about their Lego wares.
Once their creations hit the runways, business started to boom.
“It is easier than dealing drugs,” joked Dee Jackson. “We are flipping bricks — Lego bricks.”